Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Guide for the the Doctor New-Comers

So recently I've been nerd-ing out everywhere.  Okay so not recently, BUT, I have been talking a lot of Who with friends lately.  Now, many of my friends do watch the show, but I keep coming across people I know would love it but fear it's epic cannon.  I mean, not counting the 20-something seasons of the original run of the show, we are 8 seasons deep.  That's a lot of binge watching.  I mean, for me, its a normal amount, but for the average layperson who doesn't crave watching hours of TV, it seems like it requires too much dedication to try.  So I've come up with my own list of Who episodes that include ALL the "new" Doctors (with the exception of the War Doctor but don't worry about that).  The sole purpose of this list is to whet your whistle with the whoniverse.  Every season has an over arching plot line that is more complicated than you'd think they could do with a limited number of episodes, so you'll have to go back and re-watch, but the idea of this list is just to get you hooked.

Blink- Season 3

A 10th Doctor (David Tennent) classic.  The reason I tell everybody to start with this episode is because it's very doctor light.  You learn about the Doctor through the eyes of Sally Sparrow (Carey Muligan) and her misadventures with the Weeping Angels.  This episode is also Time Travel light, so if your not into the timey-wimey explanation of things, this one is for you.

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances- Season 1

The 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) is not one of the most beloved, but whatever, he carried the weight of restarting a legendary series and I love him.  This is a two-part story and its worth watching back to back, but leave the lights on because it may scare this piss out of you.  This story is completely unrelated to the over-arch of season 1 so you can watch spoiler free.  These two episodes feel more like a movie than a tv show, with limited time travel and the introduction of the fabulous John Barrowman as Capatin Jack it is way way way worth the watch.

Vincent and the Doctor- Season 5

Matt Smith, aka, the 11th Doctor is a charming, childish and yet ancient man who carries the weight of his 900 some-odd years with a wink, a smile and a bow tie.  This episode is early in Matt's run and does contain some elements of the series over-arching plot, but I think its worth the potential spoiler.  The goofiness, kindness and pain of this doctor can all be seen beautifully in this episode.  And let me not forget to mention the brilliant performance of Tony Curran as Vincent Van Gogh.

The Mummy on the Orient Express- Season 8

Now, while I have been LOVING Peter Capaldi as the cantankerous 12th Doctor, I didn't enjoy series 8 overall.  The plots were all WAY to wrapped up in the Doctor's companion Clara (Jenna Louise Coleman) and I didn't feel we were giving the proper chance to really "meet" this new Doctor.  We just got a lot of Clara being cheeky and cute.  Because that's pretty much all she does.  Complaints aside, The Mummy on the Orient Express is a FUN episode that has way more of this new Doctor in it than most of the other episodes.  

The Unicorn and the Wasp- Season 4

I had to throw this in because it is probably my second favorite episode of Doctor Who (my first one being Midnight).  This episode showcases something none of the others listed do.  Humor.  Sure, there is inherent humor in this "meant for kids" show, but this episode is laugh out loud funny.  With my favorite companion Donna Noble (the hilarious Catherine Tate) bumbling about the 1920s with Agatha Christie (Fenella Woolgar).  There is one scene in particular that I will call "The Doctor Detox" that I can watch on loop without it ever losing its charm.

Please let me know what you think of the list, and feel free to comment on any Who Starter Pack episodes you feel should have been included.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

7 Reasons to watch Orphan Black

With season 3 looming, it's time for me to urge any readers I may have to please, Pease, PLEASE watch this show.  The trailers have just not done justice to this tremendous sci fi show, so, I am going to give you 7 reasons you should give it a go.

7.  It's a fresh eye on Sci Fi

Okay, cloning isn't *new* in the sci fi world, anybody who has seen Moon could tell you that.  That being said, cloning has never been done quite like this before.  This is cloning in our world, in our time.  This isn't some futuristic alternate world, this is 2015 modern day life.  What would you do if in our day and age you found out you were somebody's science experiment?  Now a days in sci fi its all vampires, zombies and distopian futures.  Orphan Black feels new and exciting. 

6.  It starts with a BANG

Don't worry folks, this isn't a spoiler, this is actually in the season 1 trailer.  The whole show starts with a suicide.  Sarah Manning (for all intents and purposes the main clone) witnesses the suicide of a girl who looks exactly like her.  That's how the ball get's rolling.  Yep, less the 15 minutes into the first episode, somebody walks in front of a fucking train.  Choo Choo mother fucker.  According to the shows creators, the whole idea behind OB came from the question "What would you do if you saw somebody who looked exactly like you kill themselves".  It culminated in some awesome TV.

5.  Twists and Turns

I generally pride myself on seeing things coming.  I guessed the damn ending of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind!  But OB keeps me guessin non-stop.  There is now way to predict what's coming next, nearly every episode has me saying something along the lines of "Whaaaaaaaaat" or "No wayyyyyyyy".  

4.  Awesome effects (for TV)

DO YOU SEE THAT!  ALLISON IS POURING COSIMA WINE!  No ladies and gents, do not look for shitty split scenes here, no we get an all out clone DANCE party.  They have done such a brilliant job, that I sometimes forget that it's all one actress.  Okay, sometimes it's not so effective, but I am loving VFX.


The woman on this show are INCREDIBLE.  Do they need men to protect them?  NOPE!  This is a cast of strong/smart/funny women who are taking shit into their own hands.  Even though several of the women are played by Tatiana, each of them is uniquely strong in their own way.  Never is there ever a feeling of "she is just a girl, she can't do it on her own."  Unlike Marvel's Agent Carter, the fact that these people have a vagina doesn't make them any less bad ass in ANYBODY'S eyes.

2.  Sexuality

This is not a solely cisgendered show  like everything else on TV.  Not only that but sexuality is NOT a big deal.  Sarah sleeps with men quite often over the course of the show and nobody ever calls her a slut or questions her choices.  She is just a sexually aware woman and there is no problem with that.  Cosima is a lesbian, Sarah's adoptive brother is gay and NONE of these things are major plot points.  It's just who they are.  And that's awesome.  There is no justifying or crudeness.  In season 2 we meet a transgendered clone, and again, no questions asked, he is just who he is and its fine.  It's probably what I love most about the show.  Gay, straight, bi, trans, queer, we are all just people.

1. Tatiana Manslany

This WOMAN!  This fucking woman!  WHY HAS SHE NOT WON ALL THE AWARDS?!  She plays so many characters so flawlessly that I often forget it's the same person.  Not only is she bananas amazing at accents, she embodies each character so fully it's hard to believe its:
 In several instances, one clone pretends to be another and I have (out loud) shouted at the TV "NO THAT'S NOT COSIMA IT'S SARAH!"  or "Aww no that Alison, don't fall for it!"  or "FUCK YOU RACHEL HOW DARE YOU."  And then I remember its all the same person.  And then pieces of my brain slide out my ear.

So, do you watch Orphan black?  If you do PLEASE comment and let me know what you love best about it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lady Gaga joins the cast of AHS and I have zero Poker Face

With a tweet my newsfeed was set ablaze with news that America's favorite little monster has joined the cast of American Horror Story, next season's journey being called "Hotel".  People are losing their MINDBALLS and as the resident AHS fan (or foe) among my friends people are hounding me with the "ISN'T THIS AWESOME" question and my response is a resounding "No.  No it isn't."

Gaga's Tweet

Now, if we were hit with this news after season 1 I would be all over it.  I really like Lady Gaga, I dressed as her for Halloween once for crying out loud.  I think her brand of weird works beautifully with the AHS brand and I think she is a good actor.  But after last years ridiculous amount of musical numbers and waaaayyyy too overpopulated cast, I can't help but cringe as I think on Gaga singing every episode as we cut between every major celeb the show can cram in.

The major AHS problem pretty much since season 2 is Ryan Murphy's need to shove as many celebs into the show has humanly (or budget-ly) possible.  A cast of A-Listers does not a good show (or movie, I'm looking at you Valentine's Day) make.  With too many characters and too many A-listers who need too much screen time, we have ended nearly every season with 80% of the cast DEAD simply because it is IMPOSSIBLE to tie up that many loose ends.  We also end up with sloppy and unnecessary cameos (I'm looking at you Mat Bomer and NPH) whose plot lines serve no purpose to the story, only to their careers.

Now look, after Lady Gaga KILLED it in what was an all around boring Academy Awards, it's hard to look past AHS' major flaws and say "omgLadyGagashesamonsersheisperfectahhhhh" because you can't breathe you are so excited.  BUT, unless they trim the fat a bit and drop their A-List from 37 to 5, home girl ain't getting no screen time.  And she deserves it.  Reports say the incomparable Jessica Lange will not be in the season, but they need to get rid of more that just her to bring the show back to it's humble roots.

And to all of you thinking:
Just know: